Friday, 20 April 2018

Salvation Hyperlink to Lost Souls


Day 5: Stairway to the Stars contd

"You are looking at her. Meet my good friend Aurora Borealis. She is going to help us onward. It will all make sense, very soon. Please stay silent," says Nanuq.

Suddenly the colors in the sky seem to fold into each other, the separate beams merge, and form into a cloud like formation. It twists, turns, and swirls. It’s now bright green. OMG, the end of the spiraling cloud is coming down towards us.

Dan, help us,” pleads Si.

Beth is looking more than a little flabbergasted. For once she doesn’t speak in unison with her brother.

There is nothing to be afraid of, Aurora is ready, she will take us to the Land of Shadows,” says Nanuq.

The green cloud has stopped swirling, and is now stationary above us. If I wasn’t seeing it with my own eyes I wouldn’t believe it. There are stairs coming down out of the green cloud and they’re made out of stars.

We three amigos gasp. I mean around here an Aurora Borealis can be seen on a regular basis, but never with stairs coming out of it.

"We must climb the stairs Aurora has kindly provided. They will take us to the Land of Shadows," says Nanuq in a booming voice.

"Kids are you sure you want to do this? I can go on my own," I say, looking at Si and Beth. The two kids look absolutely terrified. Thank goodness you can't see me, because I probably look terrified too.

"Dan, thanks but we're both coming along," says Beth, taking hold of her brother's hand. She outstretches her free hand towards me. I smile and take hold of it.

"Okay, Nanuq. Lead the way; we're ready," I say.

"There are many steps to climb and as many to descend, but once you step onto the ground, you will be in the Land of Shadows. Then I will take you to meet another good friend of mine, he has made arrangements for your forward journey."

"Will you be coming with us all the way Nanuq?" I ask. I release myself from Beth's tight grip. She looks at me with those big ebony eyes. Whoa. Back to business, I stand in between them. Not her eyes nitwit. I stand in between the two siblings, and I take both of them by the hand. I can feel a surge of strength leave me, and push into Si and Beth. I’m hopeful that it will give them the power both emotionally, and physically to carry on.

"I'm afraid I cannot travel with you beyond the house of the gatekeeper. If I did I would never be able to return to Earth. But you will be safe in the hands' of the gatekeeper."

"We understand. Lead the way then, Nanuq," I say. I squeeze each of my friends hands. Si gives my hand a big squeeze back, but loosens his grip slightly on my hand.

We have a bromance but we're just not serious yet. Ha, ha.

Alternatively Beth is holding my hand so tight that I'm struggling to keep my particles together. "We can take one step at a time together guys, and if you want to turn back at any time, you can. Okay?"

"Okay, but I won't," says Si.

"And I won't either," says Beth. 
Nanuq, makes a big roaring sound, I'm not worried though. His demeanor tells me that he's happy not angry. But nevertheless, Beth flinches. I can feel her arm stiffen. I gently pull it towards me, to reassure her. She turns her head towards me, she smiles sweetly, and her arm relaxes.

Our spirit guide starts to ascend the stairs and we three amigos follow on; the stairs sparkle below our feet. I'm determined not to look down, in case I get a severe attack of vertigo. I suggest you don't either, unless you fancy falling down, plop, into the great void below. I would just float of course, like one of the little white feather's that molt frequently from angels wing’s.

You've bound to have noticed them, as they glide effortlessly through the air to the ground. You didn't think the white feather that you saw the other week came from a bird did you? Duh.

Okay, I won't describe a feather floating in a flowery way again, for the moment anyway. The stairs are very steep, and they seem to go on and on for ever; we're now inside the aurora borealis. The colors around us continue to change all the time.

"Dan do you have any idea what we're going to find when we get there?" asks Si.

"I'm sorry Si. At present I know as much as you do. But we're in this together, all three of us." 
Si, nods his head, and Beth squeezes my hand again. I could get used to Beth doing that on a regular basis. I mean on a professional basis only, not that I would entertain her stroking my hand romantically. Hold your loose-tongue.

Nanuq stops ahead of us, he's panting heavily. He needs to go down the gym.

"Don't worry my children, I'm going to disappear from your sight. But you will see me when you step onto this top step." Nanuq shouts his words to be heard over the loud whistling noise that can be heard. "The whistling noise you hear. Are the winds of change. Do not fear." Nanuq drops out of our sight.

"Come on, it won't be long." I encourage my friends.

We reach the topmost step, and we see Nanuq is descending slowly. He turns round, and lets out one of those big roars again. Si, and Beth both sigh. Are you being silly again? They're not both called Si, or sigh for that matter. Forget it, the two kids probably exhale air with relief, in seeing that Nanuq hasn't vanished into thin air, and left us on our lonesome.  
We start to go down the steps after him. I can't see where they stop at present. I'll tell you when I can. You're very impatient. I'm the guy it's doing the physical activity here, whilst you're lying in bed, lying on a beach, or driving a car. Oh you can't read when you drive a car. Okay, you’re sitting in class. Whoa, you can't read me there either. Put me away and get on with the lesson. I jest. You’re not as irresponsible as that. You’re a good kid, my best friend. Puuuke.

Hey we’re descending these steps much quicker than we climbed them.

Look kids, we’re nearly there,” I say.

Thank goodness,” say Si and Beth in unison.

One more, and we’ll be back on terra firma,” I tighten my grip on both of their hands. Beth’s hand is surprisingly unresponsive, but Si responds by clasping my hand firmly. We’ve stepped off the staircase, my legs are aching. Aurora could sure be doing with converting the stairway into an escalator. We walk forward to join Nanuq.

Welcome to the Land of Shadows my children,” says Nanuq. “We will rest for a while, and then you will meet with the gatekeeper.” He bounds forward like a spring lamb. I don’t know where he’s got his energy from. But I’ll have a bottle of whatever he’s having. I let go of the hand’s of Si and Beth. The two of them are standing with there mouths wide open. I look around; yeah, I can see why they’re gawping. This place is lush, and green; not a bit of snow in sight. Oh, and I should tell you that it’s no longer dark. The sun is shining in a cloudless sky. I don’t know if they were expecting it to look like Tuk. Who knows?

The Wind of Change begins to whistle even louder than it was doing before.

Safe journey, my children. When you are ready to return home, I will be here.” A woman’s voice comes from behind us. We all turn around, and standing on the bottom step of the staircase is a very beautiful woman. She’s not a kid, but a woman. She’s very petite, dressed in a silver off the shoulder long gown, and her long hair is being swept back away from her goorgeous face by the Wind of change. Even weirder, is that her hair keeps changing color. It’s an awesome spectacle. “Safe journey Nanuq.”

Nanuq stops in his tracks, and turns around. “Goodbye, Aurora my beauty,” says Nanuq. The old smoothy. Aurora waves, and she slowly evaporates into a multicolored mist that matches the bands that make up the twisting, turning Borealis.

She’s gone. She’s merged into the cloud, which is now levitating above ground. The stars that made up the stairway have started to disperse, and are scattering themselves throughout the Borealis. The wind is now blowing hard. The Borealis moves away, away, and it’s gone. The Wind of Change, stops whistling and there is now no wind blowing at all.

Come children time to rest.” Nanuq walks on, and the three of us look at each other, bamboozled, that’s us. Listen I’ve got a bit of thinking to do. Can we catch up later? Great. See you, don’t want to be you. Ha, ha. 

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Monday, 16 April 2018

Salvation Hyperlink to Lost Souls Extract


Day 5: Stairway to the Stars

I couldn’t believe my eyes when I saw who was accompanying Nanuq. Could you?

Oh, I didn’t tell you; it’s Beth.

What are you doing here Beth? Dan tell her to go back!” Si sounds agitated.

She’s my sister too,” says Beth.

Beth, this could be dangerous. You’d be better going back.” I say.

Grandfather already tried to talk me out of it. But I’m coming with you, and that’s that,” says Beth with dogged determination.

She has to go with us. I have no time to take her back. We must go now, or we will not be able to get to the Land of Shadows for maybe another week, or so,” says Nanuq.

If you’re coming along Beth, it’s no use being mulish,” says Si.

Guys, we need to follow Nanuq, and you both need to stop acting like a couple of  kids.” I say. I’m not always Mr. Amenable, so you better watch out. Ha, ha.

Nanuq has started to walk down the tunnel on the right. I knew I was right to tell Si to wait for the big guy. If I had followed Si’s lead we’d have been off down the wrong route. I’m first in line behind him. Beth is behind me, then Si. We three kids are pretty quiet. I should explain that it’s quite bright down here. Although I’m not sure where the light is coming from.

The walls are a shiny, steel gray color. But as we make our way along the passageway the walls are getting brighter, and brighter. They twinkle as the light which I now realize is coming from up ahead, reflects off them. It’s as though they’re encrusted with little diamonds. Little flashes of red, various shades of blue and green catch my eye.

It’s pretty cold down here, but I really don't feel too cold. I thought I would, but hey, ho. It’s probably because I don’t have any blood, and lots of adrenalin pumping through me. Duh, that must be it. If you know email me. No don’t, my android has crashed again. What’s new?

Are you two behind me okay?” I shout out, but I don’t look back. Because I can see that the tunnel forks up ahead, and I don't want to lose sight of Nanuq who is now charging on at a fair rate of knots. It's pretty unlikely that I would lose sight of him though, because Nanuq’s great mass just squeezes through the width of the tunnel.

He's squeezing through this tunnel similar to the way toothpaste does inside a tube. I can only see passed him if I jump up, and look over the top of him. Which I am doing every now, and again.

Yes, we’re okay.” They do that triplet thing, but as twins. Eh, I mean they both call out together.

We take the tunnel to the left, the light is getting real bright. I should have brought some shades. Nanuq is slowing down, and the tunnel is now beginning to open up.

The light is so bright I can hardly see. All four of us are now standing in an atrium, a beam of green light from the night sky, illuminates the space.

The sky is amazing, it continually changes from green, to red, to blue, back to green. The reflection of the varying sky is responsible for the colors on the walls of the tunnels. I watch Nanuq, as he stares up at the bright colored, star filled sky.

"We must wait, Aurora will let us know," says Nanuq. He doesn't take his eyes away from the sky. 
"Are we meeting up with an other spirit?" I ask.


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Friday, 13 April 2018

The Library

The Library

The silence is broken
Only one word has been spoken

The cough, the sneeze, thud and laughter titter
Is treated here like dropping litter

The smell of polished wood, leather top tables and dusty air make me sneeze
If I dare

Do I dislike being here?
On the contrary, I'm surrounded by my friends, the books
I'm in my world, in the library

 Christina Rowell

First posted August 2015

Sunday, 8 April 2018

Be awesome! Be a book Nut!

"A child who reads will be an adult who thinks"

    Children can be reluctant readers. Some boys and girls would rather tidy their bedroom than read. Em, give me a book anytime, over household chores. A new bookstore has recently opened in my local shopping mall and being a regular visitor, I love looking through all the books that are available for children, before I even check out the adult section.

    With the wide choice available both in bookstores and libraries (when you can find one), I can't really understand why any child wouldn't want to pick up a book, at whatever age.  But, the answer could be that a book is now rather alien to many children.

    When, Jennifer Bhambri-Lyte addressed an audience at the NUT (National Union of Teachers) conference in Brighton, England recently, she told the assemblage of how children are swiping pages of books to turn them.

    I believe that teaching a child to read is not solely the responsibility of the teacher at school, it's crucial in a child's development, therefore reading has to start in the home, as early as possible. If a child doesn't even know how to turn a page we have to question how their whole future will shape up.
'Be awesome! Be a book Nut!'
                                                           Dr Seuss


Thursday, 5 April 2018

The Power of Words


    My mother-in-law, God bless her soul had four and a half fingers on her left hand. Her ring finger having been severed near the lower phalange by an industrial steel press in an aircraft factory where she worked during, WWII.

    The finger stump adorned by her wedding ring was a constant source of curiosity to any small child that was in her company. However, the story she relayed to them was not that of the gory details of the unfortunate accident, but a story to deter her little listeners in engaging in bad habits.

   The tale being that she lost it when she stuck it up her nose. Yes, also slightly unpleasant, but something small children do have a habit of doing on regular occasions.

    Having witnessed her telling this story many times, it never ceased to amaze me that each child's reaction was similar. A reaction of horror and bewilderment.

    Yes, words are powerful if you choose the right audience.


Monday, 2 April 2018

Never Give Up

"Many of life's failures are people who did not realise how close they were to success when they gave up."
                Thomas Edison

     Thomas Edison made around 1000 attempts at inventing the commercially viable light bulb before he was successful. However, as human beings we're very vulnerable to the feeling of failure.   Therefore, we hold back from trying something new, giving up when we believe that our creation is no longer worth the time and effort, or abandon our project because we are overcome by a feeling of hopelessness.

    There have been many inventors who gave up on their inventions and if they hadn't, life could have been very different for them. There wouldn't just have been the financial gain from their royalties, they would have received the recognition they rightly deserved.

    Two examples of inventors who gave up are, Mary Anderson and Douglas Engelbart. Mary invented the prototype of the windshield wiper in the early 20th century (1902) and Douglas, was the man behind the computer mouse (prototype-1964). Both designers stories are similar, due to lack of interest and investment they allowed their patents to expire.

    Earlier this month the inventor of the Baygen Clockwork Radio and many devices for the disabled, Trevor Baylis, died at the age of eighty years. He started a company, Trevor Baylis Brands, to help inventors develop and protect their rights. 

    He was an ardent campaigner against the theft of intellectual property, something that can be a cause of concern for writers, as copyright is included in this category of intangible property. 

    As writers we have so much in common with inventors and it is impossible to tell when we are very close to success. So never give up.


Friday, 30 March 2018

Meet Author Aaron Brinker


    In this month's 'Author Spotlight' feature I'm happy to introduce you to US, indie author and writer of multiple genre fiction, Aaron Brinker. I was introduced to Aaron like many of my fellow author friends via the virtual world and I am delighted to have connected with him.


  • Aaron, what took you on the path of writing fiction in multiple genres?
          Life, literature, and film were my main influences into writing multiple genres. I grew up loving horror movies, as well as movies and shows with dragons and other fantastical beasts. Some of the books I read growing up were, A Wrinkle In Time, Where the Red fern Grows, and King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table.
          I have an Associates Degree in Criminal Justice and worked for Juvenile Corrections for four years and this is where my interest in potential crime thrillers originates. I also hold a Bachelor's in General Studies with minors in History and English Literature.

  • You have written both short-stories and a book for publication to date. For those thinking of writing for publication, what made you take the plunge?
          What pushed me into writing for publication was due to a professor in college. My English Composition professor pulled me to the side one day after I let him read some poetry I had written on a downward spiral. He asked me in which area of study I was majoring in, at the time it was history.
          He told me whatever course I chose, I needed to write, because I had a huge amount of potential. Since then, I have been pursuing writing for publication. I was taking care of an ill parent during  that time as well and I was not able to work due to the level of my father's care, so I started  pursuing it for extra income while caring for him.
  • Is your writing aimed at an adult only audience?
         Mane of Redemption, is currently my only story that is directed for younger readers. The Narrative of Benjamin White, could be read by younger audiences, but there are a few scenes that are graphic. Second Chances and Regaining Power are definitely written with adult audiences in mind.

  • The first short-story you published 'Regaining Power' I know contains scenes of domestic violence. What made you choose to write about this sensitive subject?
          Strangely enough, Regaining Power's overabundance of domestic violence was a spur of the moment creative decision. Granted, it stems from the Criminal Justice background. It started as an entry for a competition. I ended up not completing the story by the deadline. The premise of the story was supposed to be something that happened in a dark room.
         I automatically thought of a basement, followed by the usual cliche of a murder happening in the basement. From there it just went darker and darker. I finally ended up with a woman torturing and murdering her abusive husband to get free of abuse. For those who have yet to read it, I thought of another dark twist that brings it all too close to the dark reality that often happens in domestic violence situations.

  • We know that writing short-stories can help a writer develop their writing skills. Did you find that writing and publishing your short-stories before your novel helped you in any way?
          Publishing my short-stories before my novella helped in the sense it gave me more insight in the editing process. Second Chances, was completed at least before The Narrative of Benjamin White and Mane of Redemption were started. Every time I went back for another round of edits to Second Chances, I would catch something that I had not known before finishing the other two stories.

  • The final question I have for you Aaron is one I'm sure my readers would like me to ask. What are you working on at present and will we get a chance to read it in the very near future?
         My current WIP is the story following, Mane of Redemption. I am possibly going to try and get it traditionally published. There are many other stories, that I have on my to do list. One of these (crime thriller) I am dreading in the sense that I'm  sure it will give me issues sleeping at night. I have been thinking about it quite a bit today on whether, or not I should make it first in a series, or standalone.

    Thanks Aaron, for taking the time to answer my questions, so frankly and honestly. Readers click on the links below to find out more about Aaron and where to buy his books.


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